Over the years, there is a gradual shift in philosophy or ethos of urban planning. Earlier, low rise flattened towns were the norms, now there is a definite shift towards vertical growth, higher FAR and densification of cities. Earlier norms called for rigid separation of business and residential zones (think of BBD Bag and Salt Lake, for example): now "walk to work" and mixed development is becoming common. Earlier, no business activities would be allowed in residential houses, now more and more such activities are being permitted in domestic houses.
For Bidhannagar, in 2010, we'd issued from Urban Development Department a notification that allowed 29 non-hazardous, non-polluting activities in 45% of a residential house. Some examples: Book Shop, Doctor's Consultation Chamber, Gift Shop, Xerox Centre, Studio Photography, Mobile Shop, Bank / ATMs etc.Of course specific permission has to be obtained and fees paid. Now very recently, we added few more activities in the permissible list for Bidhannagar. These are:
2. Diagnostic Centre
4. Tailoring Shop
5. Cottage Industry Products
6. Hardware Shop
7. Garment Shop
8. Meat & Fish shop
9. Ice Cream shop
10.Dry Food Shop
11. Lawyer's Chamber.
The notification number 1530-UD/SL(AL)/4S-12/2010 was issued by us yesterday. This is based on the decision of the Standing Committee of the Cabinet held earlier this month.
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We had the first meeting of Nodal Officers of 10 smart cities yesterday at Nagarayan. Discussions were held at length on various aspects and the way forward. To collaborate and interact, a new Facebook page was launched as follows:
(Log in to your facebook page and search for Smart Sahar)
We hope to use it to collaborate and share best ideas, clarify doubts and keep the group togetherwith latest inputs. (I remembered my days as Chief Electoral Officer when I'd interact with all Returning Officers and AROs through my blog site: some would even take print-outs of some posts and circulate among other officials.)
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Here is a clipping from today's Ananabazar:
Here is a clipping from yesterday's Ei Samay:
And here is a clipping from Labanhrad Sambad: the journalist handed over the copy to me yesterday: